Me: I know you were playing Cheeky Animals with me down on the beach.
Nell: Are you absolutely sure about that?
Me: I saw you, Nell. Sticking your tongue out at me when you thought I wasn’t looking.
Nell: I was simply enjoying a brief paddle.
Me: You were trying to catch me out.
Nell: The water was lovely and clear.
Me: It looked lovely and cold to me.
Nell: You don’t have paws so you can’t possibly understand the joy of it.
Me: Well, you didn’t win at Cheeky Animals.
Nell: I think you will find that I did.
Me: I caught you. Several times.
Nell: More than two?
Me: Wait a minute. If I’d said three what would you have said?
Nell: The same thing.
Me: So you’re always going to say you beat me?
Nell: Yes, because I did.
Me: I give up.
Nell: Good idea. Now, Poppy wants to know what you feel about Brussel sprouts with your Christmas roast.
Me: I love them.
Nell: Boiled, steamed or sautéed in butter with a little bacon?
Me: I usually have them steamed but the bacon version sounds tasty.
Nell: That’s exactly what David said. He’s in the kitchen with Poppy right now doing a taste test.
Me: My Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy is an awfully good taster.
Nell: It’s true that David has a discerning palate but he has a great deal of trouble Exercising Restraint.
Me: What do you mean?
Nell: Let’s just say if he is on a Tasting panel he is best Tasting last.
Me: Because of his discerning palate?
Nell: No. Because for David, Tasting means Finishing. Everything.
Me: Oh dear. I hope he hasn’t eaten a whole bowl of sprouts.
Nell: Don’t we all.
Me: Yes. Sorry.